Black lentils, potatoes, and kale with lemon cashew butter and sea vegetables

Seasoned with scallions, purple dulse flakes, toasted nori, and black sesame seeds, this dish relies primarily on the salty flavour of the sea vegetables, the sweetness of the cashew butter and the rich combination of lentils, potatoes and greens for its flavour. One pan, one bowl, one plate, no refined oil, no added sugar, added salt optional (but recommended if you’re not trying to cut out salt!).


For the lentils, potatoes and kale
1 1/2 cups water, divided
1/4 cup black beluga lentils (green, brown, dupuy will also work, but not red)
1 ‘spring’ dried kombu (about 1/2″)
1 medium yellow potatoes, about 1/8lb or 3/4 cups in 1/2″ dice
1 scallion, minced (2″ – 3″ green reserved for garnish)
1/2T minced garlic
1 cup green kale, chopped
1t purple dulse flakes, 1/4t reserved
1t nori flakes, 1/4t reserved
1T nutritional yeast
1t black sesame seeds (white will do)
Sea salt, tamari, and/or black pepper to taste

For the cashew sauce
1T cashew butter
1T warm water
1T nutritional yeast
1/2T lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper to taste


Start the lentils, add the potatoes and finish with the kale. In a medium pan with a lid, bring 1/2 cup water to a soft boil. Add the lentils and kombu, cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Drain the lentils and rinse thoroughly.

Return the lentils and kombu to the pan, add the
potatoes and add enough of the 1 cup remaining water to cover. Bring the pan to a soft boil on medium-high.
Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are just shy of fork tender and most of the water has been absorbed. If you have more than 1/4 cup or so water left in the pain, drain the lentils carefully. Remove the kombu. Add the kale, garlic, purple dulse, nori, and scallions. Stir to combine and simmer on low for another 5 minutes until the kale is lightly wilted.

When done, remove from heat and set aside for 5
minutes to cool. Toss with the nutritional yeast. Season to taste. Whisk the cashew butter with the water and lemon. until creamy. Add the nutritional yeast and stir till its absorbed and consistent. Season to taste. Plate the lentils, potatoes and kale. Spoon the cashew mixture over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4t nori, 1/4t dulse, and black sesame seeds. Garnish with the scallion green sliced on an angle and serve.

Pepper, tomato and onion stew (lecsó) with black lentils and kale

Inspired by lecscó, my version adds a little nuance with the poblano pepper and rounds the dish out with some kale and black lentils. Shown here with freshly made spätzle (gluten free, plant-only) dusted with nutritional yeast, but fresh bread, roasted or mashed potatoes, rice or similar accompaniments should all go well.


1/3 cup black beluga lentils
3/4 cup water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 1/2″)
4 scallions, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 cup red peppers, cored, seeded, 1/3″ dice
1 cup Hungarian peppers, cored, seeded, 1/3″ dice
3/4 cup poblano peppers, cored, seeded, 1/3″ dice
1/2T smoked paprika
1/2T coconut sugar (or a little maple syrup)
1/2T lemon juice
1 cup tomato passata (or puree)
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 cups green curly kale, stemmed and chopped
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: There are a number of regional variations for lecsó, but tomatoes, onions, and peppers form a common base. Use some fresh tomatoes, slice the peppers and onions in strips rather than dice and use green pepper rather than poblano for a more traditional version. If you do, saute the onions first, add the paprika and sugar and then the rest of the peppers. Lecsó is often stewed. You ca make this dish in a slow cooker if you prefer (just be careful not to overcook the peppers). A tablespoon of cooking oil will also add some richesse to this dish.


Bring the water to a boil in a small pan with a lid. Add the lentils and kombu. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove the kombu and set the lentils aside to cool for 5 minutes, covered.

With the lentils underway, bring a large frying pan to heat on medium high. Add the peppers, scallions and sea salt. Stirfry for 3-5 minutes, or until the peppers are starting to wilt. Reduce heat to medium. Add the paprika and coconut sugar. Saute for 3-5 minutes.

When the pan starts to brown, add the lemon juice and deglaze. Add the passata and stock, and return to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes uncovered or until the passata has been reduced by about 1/3, stirring periodically (but gently).

When ready, add the kale and black lentils. Stir to combine. Let stand 2-3 minutes to cool and to wilt the kale. Season to taste and serve.